The House of Representatives and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf have been at odds with each other over comments allegedly made by the President against the honorable body during her visit to the United States. President Sirleaf reportedly told a gathering in the United States during her visit in September to attend the UN General Assembly that members of the House unilaterally increased their budget without her input.
The President said: "they took it; I did not give it to them". This comment was in response to a question from her audience regarding increment of the legislative body. However, the statement by President Johnson-Sirleaf did not go down well with members of the House. In reaction, Speaker Alex Tyler, at a press conference, requested the President to retract her statement, a request which is yet to be adhered to.
Since Then, Other lawmakers have been releasing torrent of harsh words on the President for her comments - in an apparent annoyance - which they believe expose the august body to public ridicule and disdain. President Sirleaf is yet to retract her statement as relations between the head of state and members of the House continue to degenerate.
Suspecting the apparent bad blood, the Chairman of the Traditional Council of Liberia Chief Zanza Kawor arranged a meeting between members of the House of Representatives and President Sirleaf last Friday, but the President boycotted the meeting scheduled at the Capitol.
Sources hinted this paper that President Sirleaf requested that the meeting be held at the Centennial Pavilion on Ashmun Street, but the House of Representatives through Speaker Alex Tyler rejected the request. However, the meeting was not held due to the failure of President Sirleaf to attend.
The President and members of the House must break the impasse and agree on a venue so that the significant issues regarding the future of the country are discussed and the process of governance accelerated. We are aware of the level of bad blood between the President and some members of the House which has held down the smooth running of the state. We've heard specifically that the President and the Speaker of the House who are from the same county, district, clan and church are not on good term.
For us, It does not matter where our leaders meet to dialogue on matters that have the propensity to throw our country backward. What's important is to resolve every bad blood and ignite the spirit of camaraderie.
In Our Mind, the prolong confusion between the Executive Branch and the Legislature, particularly the House of Representatives is a recipe for disorder
The Need To dialogue is very important especially as we move toward 2013. The President and members of the House of Representatives must dialogue regardless of the venue. It is our hope that the President and the House will seek dialogue and not confrontation.
We Believe That seeing the need to dialogue and bury the bitterness should not be considered as a defeat to any side, but rather the best solution to reconciliation and healing.